My son hates it when I tell people I recently posted nude pictures of myself on the Internet. He doesn't hate it because he's 14 and immediately starts bleeding from both eyeballs at the thought of my being unclothed. Well, he doesn't hate it just because of that. Mostly, it's his sense of scientific accuracy that's offended.
"These are pictures of internal organs!" he says. "There's no way to put clothes on them. It's just the way they are! Stop saying they're nude!"
I could point out that it's entirely possible for one of those organs -- my cervix, to be specific -- to wear a cute little cap. But I don't want him to start bleeding from the ears as well.
He knows why I posted the pictures. I played him clips from Rush Limbaugh's rants off my Rachel Maddow podcasts. "He wants Internet images of why we need the pill," I said. "Fine. I'll post some."
Fortunately, I'd been given photos from the surgery I had about a year ago -- the operation that confirmed what I'd suspected for a very long time. The pain and fatigue I suffer from is caused by endometriosis, a disease that might be called a bad case of constant internal bleeding and is hardly uncommon. There's no cure, but many sufferers have found that taking the pill relieves some of their symptoms.
I came up with a short, mean, careful-what-you-ask-for blog posting about what an idiot Limbaugh is and, with some help from the resident techie, managed to get two shots of my internal organs up on the Internet.
The posting got some serious hits after PZ Myers linked to it from Pharyngula. I got some great comments and not a speck of hate mail. Either I wasn't famous enough to be hated on, or those who might be so inclined were scared off by the idea of what kind of images I might send in reply.
Here's the problem.
I don't like the idea that what I wrote might be taken to mean that the many, many women who use the pill as birth control are in fact "sluts."
I mentioned in my posting that the idea of women needing safe, affordable contraception was "such a duh" that I couldn't stand to get into an argument about it. Of course health insurance should cover the pill, just as it should cover my husband's diabetes medication. I can't imagine that there are many fence-sitters about this issue. You either get it or you don't.
Still, explaining that there are non-birth control uses for the pill can be taken to imply that this is why the pill should be included in any comprehensive health coverage. I'm not like those bad girls! I'm a sweet little, chaste little endo sister, I am!
But damn it, it's frustrating seeing how many conservative writers and speakers are still stuck on the idea that Sandra Fluke wanted to testify about her sex life.
If they can't manage to learn the basic facts of the case because those facts differ from the story their Chosen One told them, it's a lead-pipe cinch they can't deal with the idea that health insurance should cover birth control pills along with other prescription medication. Oh, and it's nobody's damned business why a woman needs them.
Yeah. Sure. They'll be all over that idea.
Maybe in a few hundred years.