You must surely know by now, dear reader, that I’ve been called ‘old fashioned’ by many. For some, this is a complimentary title, and for others, it’s an insulting title. Know that I wear it with pride. After all, have you ever taken it as a grand compliment when one says, “Oh, you’re so new-fangled and modern!” Well, I haven’t, and my knowledge of modern society leads me to believe rarely (if ever) will I find that a compliment.
I spent a fabulous afternoon with my beautiful sister. We’re the two youngest in our family of five. Upon returning from my trip, I noticed a new copy of SELF Magazine in the mailbox. Note: I receive this magazine free through the use of leftover airline miles; I do not pay for it. The general advice contained within is health-related, whether that’s food, exercise, or clothing related. So when I came across the article “Vote! Your Health Depends On it” my mood dovetailed slightly. Example:
See, SELF, I had a feeling you’d be projecting your feelings of what MY health was, and what I expected my vote to do for my health. For the record, the biggest effect my vote has ever had in my health is in helping my *mental* health recover from the election cycle. That said…
Your first question was pretty straight forward. “If you are elected, what will your health care priorities be?” and the answers were typical – Mitt Romney said he’d begin by “repealing the Affordable Care Act” and attempt to “create the conditions for a thriving, market-based health care system that will bring down costs”. Barack Obama simply proclaimed different facets of his Affordable Care Act, saying “Obamacare blocks insurance companies from arbitrarily capping or canceling coverage” among other things. MOVING ON.
Question two was regarding “77 cents for every dollar a man makes” and “the wage gap” – which, I dare ask, is a health related issue… how? The answers, fairly expected: Romney states his support of an educational system “in which every American can realize his or her full potential” and claims “this statistic is misleading, because it ignores the different choices that individuals make about their careers”. (Sidebar: free choice is a beautiful thing, is it no?) Obama’s answer indicates that “women are 80 percent of [his] household” and he notes the first bill he signed was the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act”. MOVING ON.
And now we come to question three. Let’s see it in its entirety, eh?
Nearly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unplanned. Do you support federal funding for Planned Parenthood and requiring insurance plans to offer free birth control?
Oh, SELF. This is a fail. Because, you see, you can claim that half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. But shouldn’t you at least explain why that happens, or how? Hint: it has something to do with people having sex. That’s how babies get made, in case you forgot. See, I wouldn’t normally think someone forgets that’s how it happens, but you immediately segued into asking for federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Now, call me crazy — but the federal government currently funds Planned Parenthood, does it not? And if your “unplanned” pregnancy statistic is true, then it would seem you implicate Planned Parenthood as a complete failure! Should we really fund things that (apparently) aren’t even doing their job well? And dare I say, if you happen to think that insurance plans should offer “free birth control”, wouldn’t that overstep the grounds of the Planned Parenthood you want so much to see supported? Because really, SELF – that might be overkill. Would it be absolutely ludicrous to suggest that people get pregnant, for the most part, because they’re having sex? (Hint: it’s not ludicrous, but you might say it is.)
I’m sure it’s hard to imagine that anywhere on this planet, a woman has made the choice to avoid pregnancy by avoiding sex. That’s so oppressive, you may cry. (Note: somewhere, a man is also making the choice to avoid pregnancy by avoiding sex.) But just FYI, it is occurring, in several places on the planet. Exhibit A, right here, would like you to know that no babymaking has led to… no babymaking. *gasp* Abstinence…works?!! (Answer: yes.)
Now, SELF, can you point me to the latest ‘birth control’ that’s 100% effective? And for the record, combining something that’s hypothetically 95% effective with something that’s, say, 90% effective, doesn’t make it 185% effective. Sorrynotsorry if that’s shocking math news. (pssst. I’m waiting for your 100% effective birth control method. Still waiting.)
So here’s the deal – have sex, you might get pregnant. That may not be what you want, but when your plans involve things that occasionally fail, you’re kindasorta planning to fail. Know what I mean?
Allow me to quote Jeff Goldblum’s character from Jurassic Park here, non-ironically, because I heart him and he’s wise:
“Life will not be contained – life breaks free! … well, there it is. … I’m simply saying that life, uh, finds a way.”
So, SELF mag, now you know. Some of us think your election piece is a little ill-informed with some pretty lame suppositions – like the fact that you think your magazine readership thinks that their health depends on their vote. Because last I checked, the box I mark on that absentee ballot isn’t going to suddenly cause a cure for psoriasis to drop down from the heavens. And I’m pretty sure my stress levels are still going to be pretty high. And you know what? Even if I didn’t mail that ballot in, I’d still have psoriasis, and I’d still be struggling with other chronic issues, and I’d still have these large, flat feet. So I’m thinking maybe my health doesn’t really depend on my vote, after all. Surely my vote may affect my health in some way, and surely governmental policies may have an effect on my health, but… nah. My health, in and of itself, doesn’t depend on my vote. Just thought you should know that.
Oh, and one more thing – some words from the lovely ladies at http://www.iusenfp.com, to keep in mind when discussing health.