Thursday, August 04, 2011

"Rabid feminist" ignorant of Plan B, "war on women" somehow to blame

A Feministe guest blogger named Anna Lekas Miller has a (language warning) post in which she shares a response she gave to a male friend who wrote her because he thought using the terminology "war on women" was a bit much. Miller responds by discussing a circumstance in which she used Plan B two+ years ago.
Lacking access to information isn't just something that "kinda sucks" — it's potentially dangerous and life altering. For example, I didn't know what Plan B was until I needed it. Luckily, my boyfriend's roommate had been in that situation before, and told us that we could get Plan B at Walgreens. My boyfriend took full responsibility and paid the $50 to buy it for me. I also live in New York City, meaning that I could walk down the street to Walgreens and purchase it.
So there's a war on women because Miller (a rabid feminist) didn't know what Plan B was even though it has received a ton of news coverage for years, been advertised nearly everywhere, promoted like crazy by Planned Parenthood and feminist organizations and there was a large political controversy over whether it should be prescribed or be an over-the-counter drug. Really?

I was mortified to ask the Pharmacist for Plan B. I felt like a complete whore for having consensual sex where the condom just happened to break. In this country, if you are a girl who acknowledges her sexuality, you feel like whore by default.

So there ‘s a war on women because Miller is embarrassed that she's having sex. Miller's insecurities = war on women. Got it.

So, what if I hadn't lived in NYC? What if I had lived in the middle of Texas and needed to get a ride to a Planned Parenthood that was 50 or even 100 miles away? What if I lived in South Dakota or Idaho or North Carolina? What if I didn't have the money? What if some bull**** (that has happened to three of my friends) happened where I went and they said "I'm sorry – we are out of Plan B. We will have it in two days and you can come back then." (I'll give you a hint, its not called the "two days after you (expletive)" pill).

Amazingly, Miller (remember she's a "rabid feminist") is writing about her experience with Plan B yet is still incredibly ignorant about it. She thinks you can't use it two days after intercourse. The FAQ section of Plan B's web site says, "You can use Plan B One-Step™ after you've had unprotected sex or contraceptive failure one or more times in the last 72 hours (3 days), and you don't want to become pregnant."

The problem here isn't a war on information or a war on women but rather someone who is apparently unable to process and remember information.


  1. This lady is a case. She doesn't know what a "war on women" is. Let me give her a clue. Serial killers who murder a string of women, rapists, (dis)honor(able) killings, female genital mutilations, sex selection abortions, female infanticide, human trafficking and sexual slavery (AKA: forced prostitution); these are examples of the War On Women. When the term is used in these contexts, the label isn't extreme, it's appropriate.
    But some people cry that it's a "war on women" because a woman's right to know about alternatives, or view an ultrasound, is making it harder for them to convince the woman to abort. This is propaganda that is extreme hyperbole.
    This lady whines that "lack of access to information. . . is potentially dangerous and life altering."
    But I bet, like most hard core pro-aborts, she's against informed consent laws that tell women about prenatal development, possible complications, and alternatives to abortion. Somehow lack of info goes from being anti-woman to being pro-woman when the woman is pregnant and looking at her options. No doubt Miller wants such women to see abortion as the only solution to her situation, never mind how much the woman wants another solution. These people change their standards to push abortion so much it's disgusting.

  2. If the most offensive problem you found in this article was Ms. Miller's inability to "process and remember information," then I'm afraid you completely misunderstood the article and are ignorant to the contraceptive experience for the majority of women in this country.

    Sure, she might not have known what Plan B was. My progressive sex education class told me (albeit briefly) that Plan B existed. But it did not tell me where to get it, how to get it, how much it cost, or what kind of side effects it would have on my body. And although you might find Plan B to be "promoted like crazy," how many teenagers do you know are avidly reading the news (even better, have access to it) or are paying attention to these things? I'll answer for you: few to none. And if I had to put it into perspective, I'd say that I've seen approximately 5 million more advertisements for Viagra and sex scenes in movies than I have one sort of ad from Planned Parenthood and feminist organizations. (You REALLY think they have the funding? That's a joke.)

    Furthermore, I don't think Ms. Miller is alone on her insecurities on having sex. After all, if all you're taught through your sex education only promotes abstinence, of COURSE you are going to feel ashamed. The real life decisions and impacts of this insecurity, shame, and lack of access to sexual health information is not limited to contraceptives. It's why 60% of rapes go unreported. Women are scared, don't have the information they need to get help/take care of themselves, and don't have a support network to turn too. The biggest difference between that situation and contraceptives is that women can get the services they need for FREE, unlike the services they NEED for other forms of sex.

    Lastly, as far as the effectiveness of Plan B goes (and having to wait 2 days to get a pill), the effectiveness decreases the longer you wait (by the third day it being at most 75% effective.) That means there is a 1 in 4 chance YOU WILL GET PREGNANT. That's terrifying and the fact that a woman would have to wait in suspense for that long is irrevocably wrong. Additionally, what if she wasn't able to come up with the spare $50 or find a pharmacy that sold Plan B until the second day... or the third? And what if she THEN had to wait two days to get the pill? Your critical standpoint on this is clearly flawed.

    Ms. Miller calls this a "war on INFORMATION" because if women don't know what contraceptive options are out there in the first place, the remedies are "meaningless." Moreover, she accurately calls this a "war" because "(the reproductive health) battleground happens to be on (a woman's) body". A teenager girl's access to information on sex is politically controlled by the state and her options for protecting and caring for her body (IF she's aware of them) are controlled by private sector businesses (such as if that walgreens is going to stock Plan B or not). These choices, politically influenced and OUT OF HER CONTROL, directly affect her body. They affect her wellbeing. They affect her future. They affect her health. They affect everything about her life. Given the clear divisiveness and partisanism regarding this issue and the severity to which it affects her LIFE, it is most certainly and conclusively a war on information.

  3. Also, Cecilia. Your accusations are baseless. I'm sure Ms. Miller like most pro-choice people are for a woman knowing ALL of her options, whether it be abortion or alternatives. Although I am pro-choice, if a woman received fair and unbiased information regarding ALL of her choices (abortion and alternatives) and chose an abortion alternative, I would respect her choice 100%. That's what pro-choice is all about, after all. CHOICE.

    Lastly, though Ms. Miller touched upon having this be a war on women by extension, the main point of the article was that it's "war on INFORMATION" (that happens to disproportionately affect women.) Even if her main argument was that it WAS a War on Women (which it wasn't), that doesn't mean that female infanticide, forced prostitution, and the likes COULDN'T ALSO be included in a War against Women. There is a VAST front of issues that are affecting women in the world, and lack of information is most certainly one of them.

    Personally, I think BOTH of your divisive and disrespectful rhetoric are contributing to this war women are facing. Although Ms. Miller might not share the same opinions as you do, she is a human being and deserves respect. So please do not call her "this lady" with spite that is so pungent it transcends needing a voice to emphasize it. You obviously know her name. And please do not put words in her or any other persons mouth based on what they might believe. She clearly can speak for herself.

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  5. Chelsea,
    I didn't find her post offensive. I found it (like your comment) funny how she could blame her ignorance on some mythical war.

    My progressive sex education class told me (albeit briefly) that Plan B existed. But it did not tell me where to get it, how to get it, how much it cost, or what kind of side effects it would have on my body.

    Well, do you have Google? Can you type "Plan B" into a search engine?

    Planned Parenthood has an income of over 1 billion dollars - yeah there funding is a joke. They're so poor. Come on.

    I'm aware the effectiveness (or complete lack thereof of Plan B). My point was to show how ignorant Miller was of the drugs she bought and took even though all that information is easily available online and likely on the packaging.

    Plan B is sold over the counter - why would she need to wait two days to get the pill?

    I wasn't aware the state prevents girls from looking up sexual health information online or talking to their parents about it.

  6. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Oh please. When I was a teenager, long before Plan B was available without a prescription, I was able to figure out how to go down to get it. I was even able to get it without my parents finding out about it. Oh, and shockingly, I live in Texas.

    Even a stupid hick in cow country knew about the drug, Ms. Miller. Try again.