Sex, Pregnancy, Birth Control, Viagra & War

For some time, the connections among these things have been stewing in my mind. Hoping to avoid an outright rant, I put off writing until my amygdala was calmed down sufficiently to make my key points briefly and reasonably. Global events and U.S. politics motivates me to write this blog now.

Item #1: Sex

For whatever reasons (God’s grand design, nature’s instinct for survival, your favorite theory inserted here…) sex has immediate rewards if done properly. Both men and women experience orgasm, which affects pleasure centers in the brain and encourages us to do it again.

Women’s orgasm is less tangible that men’s. It’s also more controlled in cultures where men’s pleasure is valued over women’s. In fact, in some settings – those that allow female mutilation – it is prevented as a means of controlling women and preventing infidelity or even sex for any reason other than the male’s pleasure or impregnation. Western religious and political cults are slightly more civilized in that rather than cutting women, they merely frighten them into submission.

Keep these thoughts in mind, for when we get to the end of this discussion (war), we will bring the ideas full circle and return to this point.

Item #2: Pregnancy

It’s easy to make the connection between sex and pregnancy. Unless, of course, something has prevented you from hooking up these phenomena conceptually, like being too young to understand or being prevented from figuring it out by others with social or political motives.

What makes pregnancy of interest here is that it can make even the strongest women vulnerable. Two people using one body (or three, if the male thinks the woman’s body belongs to him) places big demands on the woman’s body and depletes her physiologic resources. Even in a setting where food and shelter are abundant, it puts her internal organs under stress.

It is in the best interest of cultures to support and provide a safe environment for pregnant women. And, most importantly, to allow a woman to make decisions about when and with whom she will bear a child. Yet, we do so rarely.

Item #3: Birth Control

The great leap forward for women in the 20th Century is clearly the advancement in birth control. For the first time, by mid-Century, women could reliably prevent unwanted pregnancy before it happened. It was the 1960s (!!!) when women were finally able to gain legal control to obtain their own birth control in the U.S.

Yet, clearly, preventing pregnancy is preferable to aborting an unwanted pregnancy, which until the 20th Century really was the only reliable way to prevent carrying DNA that a woman did not wish to carry.

Why would a woman not want to carry certain DNA? To answer this, we have to look at men’s biological make-up. To oversimplify, but make a point:  When there were very few people on earth, it was understandable that the males who could impregnate many women were able to develop loyal clans. Follow this out through the centuries and you get genetically homogeneous civilizations. When conquering, rape was an important part of the process because it enabled this genetic loyalty.

The method by which women could level the playing field was abortion. The combination of maternal/fetal mortality and abortion worked to provide some balance in the civilizing forces at work as the population grew.

Item #4: Viagra

I love this:  Most insurance will pay for medications that improve erectile dysfunction, but many will not pay for birth control. There is a glut of propositions for laws prohibiting women from protecting themselves…and seven billion people later, we really do need to protect ourselves at least until we can get some colonies in space underway.

So, by now you have read enough to see the incredible irony of this situation. Despite a need to limit populations growth, there is currently such a beating-of-the-chests attitude clobbering world events, one which includes the notion of ownership of women’s bodies by men. You can get free Viagra, but the same people using the Viagra are telling women they can’t protect themselves!!

Item #5: War

This leads us to the final item…war. Right now, war is everywhere. Thanks to people who shall remain unnamed here, the notion that if you don’t like someone, it is okay to go to their country and kill them and/or takeover their way of life, has led to this “okay-ness” of waging war. Unfortunately, this bully pulpit has infiltrated civilization, which – until recently – was making pretty good progress on commonality of human existence and the need for peaceful solutions.

So, what do we see? A return to the “ethics” of war, including rape and control of women’s bodies (go back to item #1). It is interesting to me that in the U.S. there is a growing awareness among young, childbearing women that there are a lot of unnatural processes going on in birth. I am duly impressed by the extent to which young women have pressed the discussion of whether or not the way in which we birth as a nation produces the best outcomes for baby and mother.

We don’t need as much abortion as we used to. We have much more effective ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Our teenagers are finally getting the message in some demographics that prevention is best. If we continue as a warring nation, will we threaten this progress? This worries me. I hope we can steer our culture in a more productive direction. Women’s bodies should not be a battleground.

One World Birth, Video Trailer

This is a must see…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCPZrK8C2ZY&feature=player_embedded