If there’s anything worse than trying to construct a grand theory out of random personal anecdotes a la Naomi Wolf, trying to construct a grand theory out of random personal anecdotes combined with biological essentialism. (Wait, I think that’s Naomi Wolf too.) Anyway, Lindsay Beyerstein has the grim details about the latest iteration, a psuedo-feminist attack on hormonal contraceptives:
It would be tempting to dismiss the author as an isolated crank, but she is part of a disturbing effort to reduce women to their biological functions in the name of feminism. Sexists have been trying to reduce women to incubators since time immemorial, but recently some self-proclaimed feminists have jumped on the bandwagon, arguing that true liberation means being left alone to experience feminine bodily functions like ovulation, childbirth, and breast-feeding in all their natural glory. To these “feminists,” tampons and epidurals are keeping women down. And now, the birth control pill is, too.
If capitalism, medicine, and feminism sound like strange bedfellows, that’s because they are. Grigg-Spall makes a series of seemingly contradictory claims about the capitalist-medical-feminist bloc that is supposedly bullying women into taking the pill: 1) The pill is popular because it turns women into emotionally stable and industrious workers who never miss a day of work or bleed on the shop floor and because the economy needs women’s “passivity, anxiety and emotionality.” 2) The pill is the modern-day equivalent of the 19th-century practice of “female castration,” which was used to desexualize women, and the pill is promoted as part of a feminist scheme to make women more alluring and available to men. 3) The pill kills female libido, and the pill fuels the supposed epidemic of sluttiness known as “raunch culture.”
Does the pill masculinize, ultrafeminize, or unsex women entirely? Grigg-Spall claims all of the above!
I’m guessing that next year’s feminists-against-all-women-but-me treatise will be an impassioned attack on the toilet paper industrial complex.