Ladies, It's Time To Stop Being Discreet About Taking Your Birth Control
We recently told you guys how to set an alarm on your phone that will vibrate, but not make a sound, so nobody knows you're about to take your birth control pill. Because, look, we get that some women feel embarrassed about taking their birth control pill.
Many women take the pill for health reasons such as acne, heavy periods and endometriosis, and they don't feel like it's necessary to advertise their health issues to the world. Women who aren't taking the pill for health reasons know it's NOT VERY LADYLIKE to imply, whether directly or indirectly, they're having sex. Or something like that.
So, these women discreetly reach into their purses to pop out a pill, quickly slip said pill into their mouths and sip water in a way that makes it seem like they were just thirsty.
I, on the other hand, am completely unapologetic in the way I take my birth control pill. Also, I am not embarrassed to announce I exclusively take the pill because I want to have sex without getting pregnant.
Every morning at 10:30 am, after my cell phone alarm vibrates loudly (I'd like to give props to my co-worker Candice, whose birth control alarm loudly blares "White Houses" by Vanessa Carlton at 11 am), I place my bag on my desk. Then, I very obviously take out my blue pack, very obviously put the pill in my mouth and very, very obviously guzzle down water.
It's not that I'm purposely making a big show of all of this; I just don't care enough to hide what I'm doing. My other co-worker Zara once praised me for how "unapologetic" I am when I take my birth control. I've taken my pill at work meetings, when talking to co-workers and at restaurants for brunch.
Back when I was in college, my alarm was set to 9 pm. I took my pill during late-night dinners with friends and guys I was dating, at pre-games and parties (chasing it with beer) and while having dessert with my extended family at my grandparents' house.
I literally do not care what is happening around me. I will take my birth control, and you will probably see me do it. No public sphere is safe.
When I take my birth control, I'm implicitly admitting I'm taking control of my sexual health. You don't know whether I'm taking it purely because I want to have sex or because I have health problems. But, whether I'm taking it to have safe sex or to cure my horrible cramps shouldn't matter. Both reasons are equally as legitimate.
Women deserve to be in control of managing their sex lives in the same way they deserve to be in control of managing their health. It's all part of the same body, after all.
I believe taking my birth control to make sure I don't get pregnant is similar to taking my multivitamin to make sure I don't get a cold. The strong pro-choicer in me sees a premature pregnancy as a health problem that could — and should be — prevented. There's no reason I should hide from the fact I'm not ready to be a mother yet. I mean, I'm 22! I'm not ready. And I'm forever thankful for birth control for letting me spend my adolescence exploring my sexuality without turning into a mother. Dramatically taking my birth control pill in as public of a place as possible is my way of thanking it for its existence.
Perhaps, in a way, I view taking birth control as a political stance, and that inspires me to feel less embarrassed when I take it. I hope that by not hiding when I take my birth control, I can inspire other women to feel less ashamed of their sexuality and their decision to delay motherhood, too.
This need to hide when we take our birth control pill is just another way our society has policed women's bodies and stopped us from having control over them. And well, I say fuck that.
Ladies, take your birth control whenever you want! Announce it to the world! Loudly pop that pack and aggressively swallow that pill, knowing full well you are making the world a better, safer place for women when you do.