• Tue, Apr 3 2012

Someone Please Tell Gov. Nikki Haley That For Some Women, Contraception Is About Raising Families

Nikki HaleyI’m not really one to dabble in gender essentialist arguments about what women would “should” care about, nor do I think rhetoric like conservative women are “men with breasts” does anything to further the radical idea that ladies are capable of an array of opinions and beliefs. The notion that sex can and should have all women thinking one way is an innately demeaning one, and so when the ladies of The View launched into a discussion of what women voters “should” care about, I hesitated for the conclusion.

Yet, when guest Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina made the sweeping statement that women don’t care about contraception, there was another Pandora’s box to consider.

The 40-year-old governor was pressed on a variety of topics with regard to her possible VP selection and her background. But when asked about the whole contraception debacle that continues to dominate our American headlines, she said this:

“Women don’t care about contraception. They care about jobs, the economy, and raising their families, and all of those things…The media wants to talk about contraception.”

The blanket statement is an irksome one, but Haley’s insistence that contraception and raising families are mutually exclusive issues is just as problematic. For many women, controlling their fertility and keeping their families to a size that they can afford and support keeps very much with personal financial and economic circumstances. So much so that if a candidate like Rick Santorum comes along and starts squawking about banning birth control, a broader conversation is triggered in which we’re already talking about women’s career possibilities and women’s economic constraints.

Sandra Fluke raised this issue recently at 92Y, highlighting contraception access as a barrier for low-income women to have a say in public discourse. We also have continued shutdowns of places like Planned Parenthood, which provide birth control to so many mothers trying to keep their not so wealthy families afloat.

Contraception is a very important issue to some women, some of them childless while others are mothers to five. And as Haley evidences, for some women of economic privilege, contraception is hardly an issue at all.

(photo: thepoliticalcarnival.net)

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  • CW

    Generic birth control pills cost list than a single pizza & sixpack per month. All these girls and women complaining about the cost of contraception- do they eat out? Have cable/satellite? Smartphones? If so, then they have NO right to complain about the cost of their birth control prescription. If you can find the money for those luxuries, you can find the money to pay for your birth control yourself!

    • Jen

      You are literally incapable of understanding things that don’t agree with your tiny incompetent brain’s logic. It’s a sickness for you. You are so blinded by hatred and vitriol that you lack even the most basic thinking skills and all empathy for your fellow man. How sad and pathetic. Please stop calling yourself a Christian, because Christ was never such a hateful bigot.

      Here’s some news CW. Not all women CAN take generic birth control. Not all places charge the same amount for generic birth control. Check your obnoxious privilege and stop being such a hateful human being.

    • Best auntie ever

      Jen, will you be my new best friend?

    • Emmy

      Jen, I don’t necessarily agree with CW, but I think it’s hilarious how you talk about how hateful she is when your post is nothing but angry vitriol. By the way, I didn’t know Christ was for giving women free birth control. Thanks for the info.

    • Ellie

      Even if “generic” pills were somehow a one-size-fits-all magic fix for everyone (they’re not), that’s just one part of it. There are the dr. visits, the testing needed to make sure women are healthy and stay that way, and many other things wrapped up in women’s health. And it adds up.

      This is a medical issue, just like every other medical issue that we have medical insurance for. Not hard to understand.

    • Frances

      The same could be said for Viagra, don’t you agree? Except birth control has uses outside of family planning and sex.

    • Dee

      LMAO! Jen, of all people, lectures CW on being a “hateful human being.” Wow! That just kills me!

    • meteor_echo

      Okay, CW, this comment has so many wrong statements in it that I don’t know where to start.
      First of all, why do you poke your nose into other people’s pockets? It’s their business how much money they have and how they spend it – and you look like somebody who hasn’t been taught any good manners in your childhood.

      Second, not all people can take generic birth control. I can’t afford eating out, or a smartphone, or cable, but every damn month I have to choose between literally eating for several days or buying expensive birth control pills – and I always pick the latter. Why? Because I happen to have menorrhagia and hormonal imbalance, and I’ll pay dearly if I won’t get my BC. And oh, generic birth control makes me experience nausea.

      Go Jen :)

    • Another Steph

      Jen, the thing that annoys me most about your comments, apart from the rampant hypocrisy, is that you seem very intelligent and articulate but your arguments are negated the moment you stoop to childish name calling.

      There’s always going to be a difference of opinions on any blog and thank God for that. Twenty years ago one was stuck with, say, opinion columns and Letters to the Editor when it came to hearing ideas on different issues but now we have millions of different thoughts and perspectives right at our fingertips. But you constantly turn opportunities to exchange ideas and debate contentious issues into ridiculous, “You’re an idiot… But she said it first!” pissing matches. I find it sad more than anything else.

    • Jen

      AnotherSteph: You are right. I should not stoop to CW’s level and for that I apologize and I agree that by doing so it gives her fuel to say “see, they are just picking on me because I am sooo right”. That doesn’t invalidate my point as you assert, because I could call CW every name in the book and would still be correct in my main assertions.

      I also don’t agree that this is an opportunity to exchange ideas and have a discussion, because CW has continually refused to attempt to see beyond her own rather small world view. You might notice that with people that seem to display even a modicum of respect and openness I try and respond in kind. I actually have had several interesting and enlightening debates on this forum; but CW has NEVER even attempted to listen to other points of view (and not just from me).

      Finally, I also disagree that every discussion has two (or more) equally valid points of view. I don’t think people who preach hatred and intolerance deserve an equal hearing, I don’t think people who feel that they should be allowed to legislate their morality onto other people are arguing from a valid standpoint and I think people who use lies and distortion to make their points thrive because somehow we’ve decided that “objectivity” equals giving equal credence to those with knowledge and applicable information and those with fairy tales and lies.

      In short: CW doesn’t deserve my respect, but I will attempt to make sure that my language reflects the fact that I don’t need insults since I have facts.

    • Jen

      Another Steph: I tried posting earlier, but it didn’t post for some reason, so I’ll try and restate (and if the other post comes up somehow I apologize for duel posting).

      First off, you are partially right. I shouldn’t sink to CW’s level because I don’t need to. I have facts and truth on my side, so there is really no need to insult her. Her posts do a good enough job of proving how little of a handle on the situation she has and what a narrow world view she comes from. Insulting her simply allows her to think that she is somehow right and although she does not deserve respect I will attempt to modify my language.

      There are points where I disagree with you, though. For one, someone saying something offensive does not automatically make their point invalid. The fact is that I could call CW every bad name in the book (which I didn’t) and I’d still be right about my main point. The idea that those of us who actually bother educating ourselves on important issues somehow need to be sure we treat those who have opposing view points (based on fairy tales and misinformation) respectfully is simply silly.

      There are plenty of people who have facts and knowledge and take different views and I have no problem engaging with them, but the truth is that CW (and several others who post on articles like this) simply don’t know what they are talking about and frankly they don’t deserve to be engaged in rational conversation. How can you engage someone who doesn’t operate in reality in a viable and useful discussion?

      So, to sum up. I will try and be a little more thoughtful of the language I choose, not because I think CW and people like her deserve consideration, but because it stops those who might actually want to engage in informed debate from wishing to. I do not agree that every point is valid or that every contentious issue has multiple viewpoints that are equally valid. Sometimes there is only one right answer and too often we take our obsession with fairness and objectivity to the extreme of validating even the most obviously incorrect and outright stupid opinions with an attempt at an engaged discussion.

    • norah

      CW, the Rx that my doctor prescribes is $80 per month. I am not choosing some trendy sounding pill b/c it’s fun for me, this is what my doctor thinks will work best for my body. Its about 1K a year, just like Sandra Fluke’s estimate.
      People have EVERY right to complain about high costs of basic needs, especially when these needs when denied will cause our nation increased financial and social problems.
      I sure hope you never complain about gas prices! Because driving is a luxury.

      @ Emmy, Christ was actually well-known (among Bible readers) for giving away health care. You know, healing the deaf, the blind, the sick. Plus, he hung with the dregs of society (prostitutes, too). I don’t think he chastised them for not being frugal enough before he feed them.

  • Elaine

    Well said, CW!

  • The Mommy Psychologist

    Yes. We do care. Some of us care a lot.

    “The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself.” http://www.themommypsychologist.com

  • Shannon

    Hey Gov. Haley, I care! I care very much!

  • Alina

    I have been reading Mommyish for months now and Jen makes similar comments on multiple posts – her typical strategy is bragging about how intelligent she is while insulting others and calling them hateful and stupid. I don’t agree with CW here but I can disagree without resorting to childish insults about their “tiny incompetent brain”…how immature.

    • Dee

      She just needs meds.

  • Avodah

    Koa,

    This woman’s point is that women care about things *other* than just contraception, but the media focuses on contraception. In fact, her point is agreement with yours insofar as it suggests women are capable of thinking about many things (including the economy and jobs).

  • MLG

    Oh God. You know, what, just ignore anything coming out of Nikki Haley’s mouth. I live in South Carolina, and we all think she’s an idiot. Example: The first few months she was here, a lady on the board of USC who donated millions of dollars a year was fired so one of her dumbass friends who does NOT donate money to educate these students could be on the board. And thats just something that’s random, there’s other stuff like this. Trust me, we don’t like her. I don’t even know how she got voted into office.

  • Another Steph

    Jen,

    Perhaps ‘negate’ wasn’t the best word choice. I don’t think your point becomes invalid due to the way that you chose to express it, just that, if I may use your words, it stops those who might actually want to engage in informed debate from doing so.

    I actually agree with what you say about 99.9% of the time but the vitriol in some of your comments makes me roll my eyes and move on to the next. There’s a huge difference between a heated debate and a stupid argument and I really hope you come to learn the difference because I think you have a lot of good things to say.

    • Jen

      I guess the thing is I’m not trying to engage CW in debate. She has nothing useful or honest to say and I know it. I’m simply trying to make sure that anyone reading the comment sections sees someone calling her out on her complete and utter BS. Like I said before, I do agree that my language could turn someone off (obviously it does for you) and so I will try and change my tone in those situations.

    • Jen

      Also, AnotherSteph, I guess part of the problem is that I am completely outraged by this stuff. It’s not simply being “heated” or disagreeing. These are people arguing to pretty much walk women’s rights back to pre-WWII status and that infuriates me. Add into that CW’s damn near constant snide little jabs at those living in poverty and it makes it hard to not say EXACTLY what I think about her.

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