Let us talk about the wide spectrum of opinions about the topic of birth control pills.
On one side, you have people viewing the pill as a way to choose what one woman chooses to do with their body. It could be looked at as a contraceptive, a way to regulate one’s period, a way to regulate one’s hormones, etc. – there are endless reasons as to why one wants to be put on birth control. Regardless of what it is used for, one should be able to obtain birth control effortlessly.
On the polar opposite side of this spectrum, there is a community that believes that the birth control pill is a form of “going against nature” and a “sin”. As you may or may not know, religion can play a heavy role in one’s opinion about women healthcare. So much as there are organizations and clubs that advocate for women to go the “natural” way of living and choosing to not partake in any form of contraceptive. However, majority of women use the birth control pill for many more reasons other than a way to not get pregnant.
Personally, I view birth control as a contraceptive and a way to regulate my period. As I have been diagnosed with a hormone disease, these tiny little pills help my hormones balance out. More broadly, they make me healthy. However, my very first experience with a gynecologist was anything but supportive and informational.
As I walked into this doctor’s office with the intentions of receiving birth control from a female doctor, I felt confident that I would leave satisfied with my visit- that did not happen. She asked me questions like, “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Oh you don’t, are you gay?”. I kept thinking: why does it matter if I am in a committed relationship with a man or anyone? Are these questions actually important? Why do you want to know in the first place?
I wanted birth control and I did not have a significant other. In her eyes, I could have just wanted the pills so I can sleep with every other dude on the block. Even though that’s not why I wanted the birth control, but who are you to tell me I couldn’t?
I thought, “wow, my gynecologist who was a woman was judging me for wanting to seek birth control. How odd?”. To my surprise, not odd at all- this has happened before. In an article posted by Bustle, many women have come forward about discussions that they have had with their gynecologist. Some of them made comments regarding the fact they should “be thinking about having children soon”, how odd one’s pubic hair is, or how someone may be “too old” about something to do with their own body.
How do we as feminists, try to change this everlasting stigma that surrounds the birth control pill, especially those who work in the medical field?
“This post was edited on 3/21/21 by ZestyGal1.”
4 thoughts on “Not All Gynos are Feminists”
I am so sorry you had this experience. You are supposed to be able to trust your doctor and be comfortable around them. My doctor always asks me if I have a boyfriend during my appointments, too. She claims that she asks because she is curious if I am sexually active or not. Just like you pointed out, why does this matter? Is it because I am female? I doubt doctors ask their male patients if they have girlfriends during their appointments. Your blog post helped me to recognize a double standard that is present in doctor’s offices. Thank you!
Yikes, I’m sorry you experienced that. As if going into the gynecologist’s office isn’t uncomfortable and intimidating enough. A lot of people have fear of heights, or fear of dentists, etc. I personally despise any gyno appointment. What’s more fun than getting butt-ass naked to put your heels in stirrups and endure non-sexual penetration with cold metal instruments? Especially by a judgemental doctor who doesn’t even care about you or your vagina that’s in their face in the first place? I also went on birth control for reasons that did not pertain to sexual activity…but felt judged as a pre-mature slut for reasons similar to yours. Of course, you can’t discriminate job opportunities for religious or political beliefs. But, if an aspiring doctor was not a feminist, how could they land, let alone want a job as a gynecologist? Not caring about women’s health that you’re directly responsible for should be deemed as a conflict of interest for the occupation.
I have chills as I am reading this post because I also have had the worst experience with gynecologists and feeling like there was very inappropriate and unprofessional conduct…. Its so hard to react in the moment especially with health professionals because there is a level of trust there and you should be able to feel comfortable. Its usually after the fact that you run the scenario through your head and realize that you can’t be too trusting and its so disheartening. I am so sorry you had this experience, thank you for sharing.
Its so important to hear stories like yours because I feel as if so many people don’t even realize when people are speaking from an ignorant narrative about birth control only being sex-related, especially generally trusted people like Doctors. I feel like this is such a common theme with birth control, and I think its important to talk about because having this perception can be very harmful! There are so many women out there who have had their life CHANGED by birth control. There are so many more health benefits when it comes to certain medical issues or hormone imbalances, etc. Its important that women can have professionals to go to when they think they need something like birth control, so that doctors can open a conversation about ALL the contexts in which birth control may benefit them, or what kind is RIGHT for that INDIVIDUAL. The stigma and ignorance behind perceptions of women’s health (e.g. walking into a gyno only to have your hetero-sex-life picked apart) creates barriers for women to understand their bodies and access health.