Yesterday, I wrote a piece entitled, “Male Birth Control Trials Halted Because of Side Effects. Good.” where I discussed recent reports about trials that have been halted for what is an effective injection for males that could serve as an additional alternative on the birth control market.
But between some indefensible statements and some horrible phrasing, well, let’s just say that things got bad. Fast.
For instance, I said this:
I realize some women take birth control for medical purposes and well, that sucks for you since I suppose your options are limited.
Now, that statement by itself is dismissive. I can see that. It’s also rude. It is ALSO not what I meant to say, at least not in that fashion. I do think that it sucks that many women who have to take birth control for medical purposes have very little options and often that option comes with a side of pain and suffering. It doesn’t “suck for you” as the rest of us move on with our lives because we don’t have that problem. But obviously, that’s effectively what I wrote.
That was no bueno.
I also said this in reference to not willingly signing up for a method that might have some side effects I find displeasing:
Fuck. That. Patriarchy is a bitch but the status quo seems to be working out okay for now, b.
Even as I typed that again, I had to cringe at just how ridiculous a statement that is. Also, that couldn’t be further from how I feel. I don’t believe that patriarchy as the status quo is okay. I’m fortunate enough to have enough women in my household and as friends who are quick to chin check me when an opinion of mine may sway too far from common sense. Obviously I’m a human, mistakes will happen, but having people help you see through them is always a win, especially when it comes to empathy and trying to understand what things are like for women. The VSB community also is a big win in that department.
Demand a better pill with less side effects or at least with minimized side effects and then we can all win together.
We’ll just call this uniformed and unresearched and well, plain stupid. Look, I know that women have been complaining about birth control since the beginning. Anybody with half a brain wouldn’t assume women haven’t been hoping for and demanding a better solution or form of birth control. But alas, I said it anyway.
There are other examples but you get the point. The worst part is that I know what I wrote doesn’t even reflects my true opinions.
For instance, I absolutely think there should be a male form of birth control. And if a viable option were present, I’d be inclined to give it a try. I’m not overly concerned about side effects since, ya know, drugs and shit. And I do believe in sharing the burden on birth control in whatever capacity is possible.
Which gets to another point: I tried to tell women how to fix their own problems with birth control. Le sigh. That, as they say, wasn’t very smart.
I’m not perfect and I never will be. I’m able to learn from mistakes as every moment is a teachable one if you’re open to it. Thanks to a fun round of comments near and far, I did that. Instead of saying, “fuck it, that’s how I feel” I decided that everybody can’t be wrong. Maybe it’s me. And because I’m fairly self-aware, it didn’t take long to see where I zigged when I should have zagged. So I apologize for being so cavalier and tone deaf with an issue that obviously is of great import to women (and honestly men, too).
Also, having a group of people (in this case, women) who can read your works and see them for what they are and let you know, “naw, b, that ain’t it” is important. So lesson learned, again. Life is evolution and nobody is ever going to get it right all the time. But calling out non-sense means it can happen to you (me) as well and I’m okay with it. I like the challenge of unlearning old habits even if it comes with a pretty significant roast. Nobody speaks in a vacuum so the back and forth to me is the win.
VSB is about the conversation of it all and sometimes that convo goes left when it should go right, but as long as we’re talking there’s an opportunity for education.
And that’s the win here. Teachable moments should equal higher learning.
Which I learned yesterday.