June 6, 2010

they menstruate

But if they menstruate, no one ever mentions it; and if they visit a family planning clinic, they do it off the page, well out of sight of the gentle reader. In The Group, however, biology, and how to pull a fast one on it, are centre stage.

Когда я ещё был в невинном возрасте, тоже сильно удивлялся -- почему в кино не сикают и не какают. Поскольку все фильмы были про войну, самым большим ужасом войны мне казалось терпеть несколько лет, по кр. мере год, как в Гуссарской балладе

  • a "pessary" (this is American for a diaphragm)
  • Now, 21st-century women's novels deal with the IVF clinic, not contraception.
  • (From time to time, of course, the odd relic will bemoan its effect on our morals, usually at the behest of the Daily Mail. Last month it was the turn of Raquel Welch on CNN. The pill has destroyed marriage, she said: "Seriously, folks, if an ageing sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad."
  • In the 20-24 age group, two-thirds of British women take it every morning
  • people who worked in the clinics fitting them were rather unfriendly and punitive
  • People were very afraid of abortion; it threatened you. The pill also meant people were able to keep the integrity of the family. Of course people had affairs before the pill, but with more anxiety, and there were mixed children, and some told, and some didn't tell. Afterwards that was no longer the case.
  • !!!
  • thanks to Joe McCarthy's war on communism, birth control was widely regarded as part of a Bolshevik conspiracy
  • "You caused this," she told her father, over the coffin. "Mother is dead from having too many children."
  • when he was declared legally insane, was awarded control of his estate), and one wholly committed to the cause of finding a way to help women limit their families, with or without their husbands' help.
  • As Lara V Marks points out in her 2001 history of the pill, Sexual Chemistry, this was complex work.
  • The American feminist Gloria Steinem has always insisted that the pill's effect on the wider sexual revolution was overstated, and perhaps she has a point (social mores changed for a variety of complex reasons, of which the pill was only one). Germaine Greer believes its advent meant that "a morally neutral reason" for refusing penetrative sex had ceased to exist: "Women no longer had an acceptable reason for refusing the kind of sex that was most likely to be brutish and short. Once they had made the investment in sexual activity by taking a daily medication in order to be available, there was no sense in being unavailable. Having accepted the idea of themselves as sexually active, they had to be sexually active or be failures." In other words, she believes that it benefited men far more than it did women.
  • "The pill only suits a woman who is on a regimen, who has a regular sex life. And who does have a regular sex life? Basically that means the middle classes. The rest [of the population], that's a lot of women. I just don't think the pill has reached, or will reach, everybody. I never used it because I was having an irregular sex life. Some people don't expect to have sex that often. Sex just… comes up [occasionally]. Those women don't take a pill every day.  (Susan Brownmiller)
  • Brownmiller feels that it is those who can't get pregnant who now dominate the media. "This pro-natalism. I haven't seen anything like it since the 1950s. Everything is baby, baby, baby." In this context, she believes, abortion rights become more vulnerable, and abortion itself more taboo. 
  • some 3.75 million are currently using it in the UK alone (worldwide, more than 200 million have used it since it was first approved).
  • Last March the Royal College of GPs published the results of research which studied 46,000 women over almost 40 years. It found that women who have taken the pill were also less likely to die from cancer, heart disease or stroke.

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