I briefly saw a cable news segment tonight criticizing John McCain for his reluctance to offer an on-the-spot opinion on insurance companies which cover medicine for erectile dysfunction but not oral contraceptives. The logic behind this report peeves me.
We're talking about equivalent situations here, right? Many men need medication for erectile dysfunction in order to have sex; many women need oral contraception in order to have sex. Paying for only one situation is a clear case of sexism!
I disagree. In the man's case, there is something wrong with his body, albeit often a natural result of aging.* In the woman's case, the only thing "wrong" with her is fertility. I resent calling this natural state a condition to be methodically subdued.
Americans today would much rather sex and reproduction were two noninteracting spheres, but nature nags otherwise. Many demand contraception to accomplish this divorce and maintain the modern life, but I do not acknowledge a fundamental human right to be barren.
Deeper than the insistence that sex be enjoyed without fear of attachment to another human being, or of the catastrophe that would be creation of new life, is the loud insistence that all people are exactly the same. For decades academics have obsessed over promulgating the worldview that no difference among humans is fundamental, and therefore any existing difference can and should be eradicated.
Society is constructed, they say. Morality is constructed. Emotions are constructed. Gender is constructed. "If it is constructed, then I will demolish it, and build my own."
Vanity and Babel. No amount of scholarly analysis or advance of medicine will bring a man to give birth.
We are stuck with the we that we are.
*I don't necessarily think ED should be covered by insurance. It probably depends on the situation. As my friend Josh puts it, "if a 70-year-old guy wants to pretend he's 40, he can do it without me picking up any of the tab."