Can we talk about birth control for a second? Or does that make you uncomfortable? Because apparently it makes my own mom uncomfortable.
I went to visit my parents for a weekend recently, and I brought my birth control pills with me–because, well, you’re supposed to take them every single day, and without them, my periods are heavy and make me really sick (something I inherited from my mom’s genes). I left my birth control pills as well as an antibiotic for a stupid sinus infection at my usual seat at their kitchen table, that way I’d remember to take them both with my breakfast.
Except when I woke up and groggily went to pop my pills with my Peanut Butter Crunch, the tiny green monthly pack was missing. I thought maybe I forgot to take it out of my bag, or that I left it in my old room, but after a ton of digging in every imaginable place I could have left it, they were still gone. I wound up having to take my pill a lot later than normal because the pack was MIA.
Eventually I asked my mom if she’d seen them. Guess what? She did. Why? Because she hid them from me. WTF? Yes, my own mother hid my birth control pills. Why did she do that? “Because I don’t want those things out,” she whispered. “They’re embarrassing!”
Uh, okay. Taking pills to make sure my cramps don’t make me miss work to stay in the fetal position for a week is embarrassing? Being sexually healthy and responsible is shameful? I don’t understand her line of thinking, because my mom doesn’t even know who Rush Limbaugh is. And by all accounts, she’d probably detest him as much as we do. But apparently she, like the ignorant radio douchebag, assumes that birth control pills indicate promiscuity. And while in my case it’s far from it (I’m quite the prude, much to the chagrin of a lot of dudes who assume otherwise), there’s nothing wrong with being sexually active if the partners involved are consensual, of age, and responsible. No one’s sex life is anyone’s business, and assuming things about someone’s sex life based on whether or not she pops birth control pills is just plain stupid. Oral contraceptives serve a bunch of health purposes, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just one example of how slut shaming can actually affect your health.
Plus, I always figured illegitimate grandchildren would embarrass her a lot more.
Have you ever been ashamed of taking birth control? Do you have a hard time talking about birth control with your parents, even if it’s for health reasons? Tell us in the comments!