Something I have always found so intriguing within the parameters of women’s rights debates and feminist issues is how incredibly sacred contraception is to so many women today.
It is lauded as a non-negotiable, absolutely critical component to female liberation and body autonomy, a major player in women’s rights and freedom. What joy it is for women to have complete control over how, when, or even if they decide to bear children—or so the story goes.
But as all things of the secular realm (and yes, contraception is a product rooted in the desires of the flesh), what presents itself as an icon of freedom and liberation is, beneath the surface, oppression.
Contraception does not free women from the bonds of sexism. It does not break the chains of the “patriarchy”. Contraception, like abortion, exists to control them, to regulate them, and is one of sexism’s greatest weapons against them.
Of course I, a man, would say that, wouldn’t I? How dare I suggest that the thing that allows women to become more than stay at home baby machines could in actuality be a tool used to oppress them?
I dare, because for men, birth control translates into three of the most anti-woman words in existence:
Consequence. Free. Sex.
Birth control is really a misnomer. Rather than granting women true control over their sexuality and fertility, contraception chemically alters them into sterile vessels to be used for only pleasure while maintaining the illusion that they are the ones in the captain’s chair.
It is a synthetic means of regulating a woman’s nature in order to further establish sexism’s greatest heresy: That women exist to please men.
The only means of true control, true body autonomy, is respecting and protecting your sexuality and fertility and practicing chastity until you enter into the marriage union with your spouse.
But that’s not the way of the world. In fact, you’re told that controlling your body through will, self-mastery, and abstinence is too unrealistic. It can’t be done. Women cannot and should not control their sexuality, so take a pill instead. Give yourself away to whomever. Give only a fraction of yourself to your spouse, because that’s real freedom.
And that is a lie.
It is a lie from the same realm that claims that the Church is the true enemy of female liberation, that the Church’s stance on birth control and abortion are primitive and oppressive and anti-woman.
Yet, quite ironically, the Church is the one establishment in our society that actually seeks to give women true freedom. Where contraception stifles women, the Church elevates them. It encourages them to master the gift that God has given them, to safeguard their very nature, and to protect themselves from those who seek only to use them. The Church says that every bit of what makes the woman unique is sacred, and none of it is to be altered, destroyed, or oppressed, but celebrated.
However, society has reversed this. It has raised contraception to a sacrament and so many women have bought into it thinking that they were taking control over themselves when really they were playing straight into the hands of the “patriarchy” they so desperately wish to escape.
Contraception is oppression, and as the Catholic faithful it should be in our prayers every day that women who have been deceived by the false promises liberation will break the bonds of sexual tyranny and find true freedom within the Church.