It’s not uncommon for aging libertines to have second thoughts about the casual hedonism of their youth. Neil Strauss followed up his 2005 book The Game, which brought the “pickup artist” subculture into the mainstream, with The Truth, in which he confessed that his celebrity as one of the world’s most famous PUAs had in many ways ruined his life and the lives of those around him. (Still, he didn’t return the royalties from his earlier book, as far as I know, or take it out of print.)
Only modern day women have monthly periods. In history women were more or less permanently pregnant until they hit menopause or died. When you’re pregnant you don’t get periods. Modern women choose to have periods instead of being permanently pregnant. That’s a choice given to them by men, even while men still have to continue with their historic gender roles of protecting the no-longer-always-pregnant women.
Huh. Never mind that birth control of various sorts has been around since time immemorial. And while most methods of birth control were a bit less than reliable until the twentieth century, various cultures have used extended breastfeeding to successfully ward off pregnancy. So no, women were not permanently pregnant until the smart mens came along and selflessly gave birth control to the women.
You might think that Pickup Artists, dudes obsessed with sexing up the young fertile lasses, would be huge fans of contraceptives – which, after all, are what makes their particular lifestyle possible. But some prominent PUAs are about as enthusiastic about contraception as a Pope.
In the case of the charming fellow who calls himself Heartiste, I mean this literally. In a recent posting, he quotes approvingly from Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae dissing contraceptives for allegedly demeaning the women that use them. Paul suggested that contraception may cause men to
lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.
I’m no Pope, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.
We’ve heard a lot in recent days from assorted manosphere dudes about how the “slut vote” – and the endless hunger of our nation’s “sluts” for free contraception – helped to bring about a humiliating end to Romney’s presidential hopes. The sluts went for Obama, we heard, because he promised them (and women in general) what they supposedly want most: “free stuff without ever having to work.”
Minus the word “slut,” this was the basic argument we’ve heard over the past week from a lot of right-wingers as well, including such big names as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, who’ve been loudly complaining that Obama won over women – and minorities – by promising to give them “stuff.”
Well, today, a new voice joined this chorus: Mitt Romney himself. In a conference call today with some of his big donors – no doubt a fairly dispirited bunch – Romney offered this explanation for his defeat:
The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people. … In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups.
Never mind, as the Los Angeles Times points out, that Romney lost in some key states that have a minimal minority population, or that Romney’s promised tax cuts could be considered gigantic gifts to the rich.
While Romney talked less about gender than he did about race and enthnicity, he did single out one group that he said Obama had been especially generous to: young women. And you all know the easiest way to bribe a young female voter. As Romney put it:
Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women.
Apparently the government has been shipping out birth control pills along with those Obama Phones.
Apparently, using contraceptives turns couples into The Lockhorns. Or so this post from CL on Complementarian Loners suggests:
Contraception reduces sex to recreation – ‘fun’ without the deep joy that a mindfully lived life can bring – and thus this percolates through the relationship as a whole. All those little jabs at each other, the passive-aggressive ways of letting the other know that you are hurting, and the hiding are part of this mentality. We’ve all done it, just as most of us have contracepted.
I’m sure many people will think this a stretch, but when we withhold something as central as our fertility from each other, what else do we withhold? Self-censored thought is like contraceptive sex. Married couples are often reluctant to be completely honest with each other and are apt to become defensive with each other, ending up – or even starting out – as adversaries rather than team mates. Since the so-called sexual revolution (think about that term for a moment), women and men have not needed each other the way they used to. Separating sexual intercourse from procreation has also separated us from each other – and from our essential selves – in a real way.
Yeah, it’s probably better for married couples to eschew contraception entirely and have eight gazillion children. And then get a reality show.