By Kim Vi Sweetman
Elm Staff Writer

Could we put a condom on politics? I don’t know about anyone else, but lately every time after I read an article pertaining to those running for president, I feel the need to see a gynecologist. Which, ironically enough, is exactly what this election could use less of.

During the last election, there were women everywhere and doing everything. We had Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton, and many more. Everywhere you looked there was a woman running for a position, plus volunteers helping with all the campaigns. This year there’s Michelle Bachmann, and a good portion of those talking about women’s health/sex are male.

Not to jump on the bandwagon, but if you’re going to ignore the documented health benefits of say, the birth control pill, and don’t have a uterus, shut up! Stay out of women’s wombs, out from between their legs, and don’t try to turn this country back to the dark ages by claiming it’s all about the “moral” issue. I thought there was a separation of church and state, but so far the Republican candidates seem to be hiding behind a very thin veil of “moral values” to talk about sex. Frankly, none of their “moral values” seem to be in the interest of America as a whole, just white, Christian, ultra-conservative, males America.

Recently in the slew of sex talk, we’ve had Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a “slut” and suggest she post videos of herself having sex online. She wasn’t even talking about herself, but a friend who developed an ovarian cyst when her insurance cut her off of birth control. Foster Friess suggested that women could simply stick an aspirin between their legs as a contraceptive. Rick Santorum believes that birth control is a sin, and let’s not forget that proposed ban on pornography.

There have been states trying to pass laws requiring the women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before receiving an abortion. A lot of people have been arguing that this unwanted penetration counts as rape, and frankly I’m inclined to agree. We’ve even had politicians – I’m looking at you, Michelle Bachmann– who’ve tried to claim that the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine will give your child autism. I’m still alive and kicking just fine, thanks. So are many other women.

Ask any woman who’s on the birth control pill, and I’m sure she’ll tell you how it has made her life better. The pill reduces menstrual cramps, regulates periods, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, and – oh yeah – helps prevent pregnancy. It also reduces PMS. Now honestly, who doesn’t like that? It is also one of the most tested medications of our time. The pill is pretty darn safe.

If you go directly to the Planned Parenthood website there are some very nifty questions (with answers) that politicians might like to read. For instance: “Isn’t it true that kids are more likely to have sex if their schools provide condoms?” Nope! In fact, the site claims the opposite reaction. So what’s the big deal with contraceptives? Maybe there’d be a lesser spread of STDs, fewer unplanned pregnancies, fewer abortions, and your daughter/wife/girlfriend wouldn’t be so cranky once a month. After all, around 44 percent of U.S. women would rather not menstruate. That’s a lot of angry ladies.

My final remaining question is: how is this fair? Viagra, covered by insurances, is used primarily only for sex, must be used every time sex is desired, and is for men. Yet the only bit I’ve heard about it is when female politicians called for a ban. What’s up with that?

The Elm

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