Does Condom Use Make You A Bad Person?
So, I've got a bone to pick with a certain minority within a group of like-minded people, and in particular, their opinion that birth control is bad, mmkay? I know you know who I'm talking about, and I'm very sorry if this is you. But when it comes right down to it, if I'm to be honest, I must admit that I find this opinion just a bit shortsighted, and more than a little narrow-minded.
I was bumbling around on RH Reality Check – which is steadily becoming my go-to resource for news about women's issues and reproductive health – when I found an op-ed about a blog post giving all the reasons people who are abstinent until they're married are just plain happier and better to be around.
Apparently, wearing a condom means you're lacking moral aptitude and a backbone.
To quote the author, “I had to scratch my head over that for a few minutes.” I'm thinking this guy has rectal-cranial inversion. Because from where I sit, putting on a condom has less to do with lacking morals than it does being aware of your reality.
When it comes right down to it, I take issue with the author's view because besides being a particularly nasty form of slut-shaming, it's also a blatant attempt to coerce a person to the author's side (thus effectively putting the person in harm's way by talking them out of using birth control) while taking not one single iota of their reality into consideration.
You see, though they are the most at risk for ending up with an unwanted pregnancy, single young people in bars aren't the only ones looking to hook up without having a baby. I know plenty of fertile-Myrtle men and women – single and married, young and old – who already have kids, and don't want more. There are folks who don't want children because they know they're not ready to take on the responsibility. Some know that, realistically speaking, a child would go hungry if born into their current situation. Still others just don't want kids.
But that's a problem, too, dontcha know. Because if you don't want children, you're letting the whole world know that you're not planning on being with your current partner forever. You probably have commitment issues. You've definitely succumbed to our “throw away society”. And you lack the “strength of character to stick by your spouse when things like personality differences, sickness, financial misfortune and children come along.”
And I gotta call bullshit, man. Where I come from, choosing whether or not to protect yourself when you have sex has nothing to do with how you feel about your partner. It's got nothing to do with how you feel about marriage. It's got nothing to do with your ability to stay the course when you run into a roadblock.
And, frankly, trying to convince others that it does is both irresponsible and negligent.
Who knows? Maybe in a perfect world, there's no such thing as sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, divorce, extramarital affairs, or teens having sex. Maybe those of us who think like I do are the jerkoffs because in a perfect world, we uphold all the “ideals” the abstinence-only crowd holds dear.
Thing is, in this world, 11-year-olds get pregnant on purpose. Less people are getting married while more people are getting divorced. And condoms are the reason HIV is still declining. This ain't no perfect world, baby. And if we continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that it is, it's only going to get worse.