When someone mentioned there was an absolutely idiotic piece on XOJane about pharmacies being out of Plan B, I took notice, because I love Plan B. Plan B is a pill that, if taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, vastly decreases your risk of becoming pregnant. I believe in Plan B. “Get It Together” The post title prompted? Yes! I would get it together! I would personally picket to insure that pharmacies were fully stocked! If I could find time! Probably not! Honestly, I figured I’d just write a post backing them up, and talking about how terrific Plan B is.
Because every time a character on television has unprotected sex I adamantly encourage them – from my sofa – to go get Plan B. I’m very difficult to watch episodes of Sex and the City with, and was absolutely impossible to watch the sequel to That-Movie-Where-The-Pants-Travel with. And in this instance – having read only XO Jane’s headline about pharmacies being out of Plan B – I loudly declared to the person who mentioned the article that I had taken Plan B and it was a Godsend.
“Jen,” this person replied, “you took Plan B once. When you forgot a pill by a few hours. Which you’re allowed to do without any risk of pregnancy. The only thing that proves is that you’re insane.”
“But,” I replied, “What if Plan B had not been available?”
“Well,” they said, “you’d probably have lapsed into a wild state of neurosis, had a hysterical pregnancy, and, even once you were told that the pregnancy was not real, you’d have been so determined to go through with it, goddammit, that you would force your body to cobble together a baby out of kidney-stones and gallbladders and phlegm. And you’d currently be trying to get it into Spence.”
That is silly, of course. Little Smeagolina is enrolled at Hewitt, where she is understood and appreciated.
Still. If only for my peace of (sometimes irrationally worried) mind, I love that Plan B exists. I find great relief in knowing that I – that all women – have access to it, in the event that we do make mistakes and have the occasional lapse in judgement. And hey, who doesn’t have a lapse in judgement once and a while? We all mess up sometimes! Yay for back-up plans! (Have I mentioned that staring into Smeagolina’s sparkling kidney-stone eyes has given me new insight into what it means to be understanding? She’s mellowed me, is what she’s done.)
And then I read the actual article.
The problem is not that there is not enough Plan B. The problem is that the author is an idiot.
She is an idiot because she has sex and Plan B is the only protection she uses.
This must seem like a harsh judgement! Perhaps she has a vagina that is allergic to absolutely everything. Let’s look at the reason Cat Marnell has chosen to only use Plan B instead of any of the following methods such as (Cat’s statements are in italics)…
1) Letting the man come somewhere besides where it will get me pregnant. Which is always (vaguely) fun. SO, why not? Because I always instruct someone to do it the dangerous way. FYI, this will be the first and last time I discuss my sex life on this website. It’s just not my thing; I just can’t do it. I’m doing it only because this is a birth control issue.
So – you’ve picked a method that only sort of sometimes works to begin with, and then deliberately asked men to orgasm in the most dangerous way possible. Huh. The problem here is that you are a reckless idiot.
And a fun fact, Cat: loudly declaring “OMG you guys, I totes hate writing about my sex life!” does not negate the fact that you are writing about it. This is like a serial killer loudly declaring “OMG, you guys, I totes hate vivisecting you!” while, you know, vivisecting his victims. It makes no difference whatsoever, save that it proves you lack the courage of your convictions.
2) Birth control pills. NO. They will make me fat; they will make me “spot” (another thing I squeamishly just DON’T LIKE TALKING ABOUT; don’t worry, though, everyone else who works here does); they will give me acne; and quite frankly, they will NOT prevent me from getting pregnant! I know this because IT HAPPENED TO ME™. No, I didn’t take my pills right…
Look, there can obviously be side effects with the pill, which we’ve discussed on TheGloss. You should consider discussing them with your doctor, because no one here is a reliable source when it comes to anything medical. As far as I can tell, Cat went to Eugene Lang, so… wait for it! Wait for the part where I call her an idiot again! It’s coming. However, I will say that I take the pill (Loestrin) and, to the best of my knowledge, its never caused me to gain an ounce or suffer adversely in any way. Oh, also, I LOVE talking about my sex life. That is my sex life, a crazy, protected, pills-taken-correctly life. OH MY GOD I AM CROSSING SO MANY CONTROVERSIAL LINES RIGHT NOW. Also, if you assume pills do not work because you did not take them properly then you are a reckless idiot.
3) The Depo-Provera Shot. Uh-huh. Same concept as the pills, if you get my drift. Egads, but it’s true.
Egads, you have no medical credentials and are scaring people off perfectly valid methods of birth control, and you are the Health editor of an online ladymag. You are a reckless idiot.
4) Condoms. Nope! As if. I don’t know. I don’t sleep with that many people and so I just don’t do condoms! ARG I HATE TALKING ABOUT MY SEX LIFE; LET’S END THIS.
If you can’t remember to take the pill, damn, it’s really going to be a bitch remembering to take AZT. (It seems inappropriate to call someone a reckless idiot right now, but let’s just take a second where we pretend Tony Kushner calls her a reckless idiot).
5) Abortion. This shouldn’t even be on the list though obviously I’ve had them. Abortions are not birth control and I hate them! I’m OBVIOUSLY pro-choice but I think they are terrible and wrong and I hate having them. And I mean terrible for everyone involved. It breaks my heart all around.
Yes. And they can be avoided if you take precautions, which you don’t, because you are a reckless idiot.
6) A diaphragm. Ooh! The wild card! I had one of these in college, and by college I mean the year I was 18 and living in Soho and going to “acting school” and blowing my trust fund on cocaine and champagne at all of the best clubs. Anyway, I lugged around a diaphragm with me in a little case and would OCCASIONALLY use it.
At this point I am convinced that Cat is not a real person, just a creature out of some 13 year old’s elaborate Alison Poole fanfiction. The problem is that this Alison Poole Mary-Sue is a reckless idiot
I feel like it’s important to point out that Cat Marnell is an idiot, because the fact that she is a Health Editor at someplace like XO Jane indicates that the older (hiring) generation thinks that her behavior is indicative of mine (I’m 25) or yours (survey says most Gloss readers are in their 20’s). And I can’t believe it is indicative of yours, because, if I seriously thought you were the kind of person who said things like “I could not use a diaphragm because I was going to “acting school” and blowing my trust fund on cocaine and champagne at all of the best clubs” I would… I mean, probably follow you around, steal your life story, make some snazzy bucks off it, to be honest. That’s not a good example of integrity on my part, but I promise that I’ll remember to take the pill while I stalk you, so at least I won’t be an idiot. Though I will run the risk of alerting you to my presence by my fat, waddle-y footsteps.
Of course, in the article Cat dares you to call her dumb, because it is cute to be dumb! It is funny! It is relatable. Hahaha, it’s poking fun at her own actions! It’s okay because she’s laughing at how silly she is! She genuinely thinks that this article is funny and silly.
Actually, it’s none of these things. It’s like watching someone walk in front of traffic and laugh about how they’re a “crazy kook” afterwards. As a sane person, that is terrifying to watch. Furthermore, it’s like this person has a national platform on “how not to get hit by cars.”
And furthermore, it’s irresponsible by the staff of XO Jane, who are presumably not all recklessly idiotic women-children, and should know better. Now, we realize why they ran this. They ran it for the pageviews. I understand that. God knows we do articles that are controversial sometimes mostly just for the sake of being controversial. I’m not saying that’s good or right, but everyone likes keeping their health benefits (I use mine towards my birth control pills!) so you play the game and when something strikes you as “mildly annoying” you write a post calling it “shockingly offensive.”
But that’s not all the staff of XO Jane is doing in running this article. What they are doing is dangerous in ways I don’t think they even took the time to consider.
Why? Because when legislation gets passed about birth control, people who want to outlaw it look at articles like Cat’s one, on this very popular women’s site that caters to a “demographic 18-49” (so, the kind of who might need birth control) and think “well, the women who use Plan B are just irresponsible idiots who don’t deserve the privilege.”
I’m not saying Plan B should be a privilege instead of a right – I wish that were not the case – but in this day and age, it is. And every article like this one means that there’s one more argument someone can make to indicate that it’s a privilege women aren’t competent enough to have. Come now. Let’s imagine the debate. Listen to the crusty republican politician – oh, hell, let’s make him a Fox news pundit – saying with a nice element of gravitas “you see, the problem with products like plan B is that women aren’t able to take them as intended so they routinely abuse them, if you look at the article by a prominent health editor you’ll see that women are using it as their primary, and so for the sake of their own health…” Well, you fill in what comes next.
The fact that a group of 40-somethings assume that this behavior is something women in their mid-20s (you, Gloss readership) will relate to and find funny means that they think that you are idiots. I want an apology on behalf of my entire generation.