More ‘Contraception = Slut’ Idiocy

One of the truly idiotic and appalling arguments we hear from the Christian right is the idea that the only people who would use contraception are “sluts” who are trying to avoid the consequences of promiscuity. And this time it’s coming from Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

During an appearance on Sirius XM’s The Wilkow Majority, host Andrew Wilkow argued that the real question in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., was about “whether or not a person who runs a business should be forced to provide something that is largely for recreational behavior, if it goes against their religious beliefs.”

Lee, responded by saying “Yea, that’s right, that’s right,” before claiming that “this administration is using the often coercive power of the federal government to force people into their way of being and their way of existing, their way of believing and thinking and acting.”

Oh yes, of course, it’s just “recreational behavior.” Any sex not meant solely for procreation is just “recreational behavior.” That’s ridiculous enough for all the reasons that a million others have already pointed out. And what company demands the right to deny insurance coverage to any medical need arising from any other recreational behavior? Name me the company that thinks their insurance shouldn’t cover broken bones or concussions that are suffered while snowboarding or playing football, all because Jesus said so.

No, it always comes back to sex and the overwhelming desire to control other people’s sexual choices, especially women. That’s what is really going on here.

33 comments on this post.
  1. karmacat:

    I’m guessing he is not going to prevent men from buying Viagra.

  2. Katie Anderson:

    Actually, my insurance has a broad disclaimer against “dangerous activities” and we have never been able to get them to pin down a definition or give a comprehensive list. We also don’t have coverage for preventative care, birth control, mental health, or a whole bunch of other stuff. Last year’s meeting on insurance for the upcoming year sounded like “yay we’re grandfathered in, that’s so great for you guys!” But it doesn’t come down to Jesus there – it’s the company being cheap and not caring about its workers.

  3. Mr Ed:

    Viagra and vasectomies are covered because they treat legitimate medical conditions while hormonal birth control and the IUD are just for party girls.

  4. Marcus Ranum:

    it’s just “recreational behavior.”

    So is watching football, reading a book, enjoying a movie, or going out fishing. I’m trying to see what’s wrong with any of that. Besides, there are people who read the bible recreationally; don’t want to go disrespecting that!

  5. Marcus Ranum:

    I am interested in knowing religion’s idea of what is appropriate recreational behavior. Sex is inappropriate and so – apparently – is masturbation. What about reading a naughty book? What if it’s Chaucer? What if it’s the bible? Or is it simply that all recreation is naughty?

    And that’s where religion’s evolved purpose comes in: don’t do fun things because you should be working, instead, to build up a surplus of goods and services that the monarchy (which the church supports by claiming it has divine imprimatur) and the church (god neeeeeeeds tiiiiiitheeees!!) want to skim. After all, a bigger surplus from everyone means more fancier stuff for the parasite class.

  6. d.c.wilson:

    Name me the company that thinks their insurance shouldn’t cover broken bones or concussions that are suffered while snowboarding or playing football, all because Jesus said so.

    Yeah, but snowboarding and football are manly activities that don’t involve those icky girly parts that we don’t understand.

  7. d.c.wilson:

    Viagra and vasectomies are covered because they treat legitimate medical conditions while hormonal birth control and the IUD are just for party girls.

    The “legitimate medical condition” that a vasectomy coviers is also known as “being able to produce sperm.”

  8. iknklast:

    Even if it were true that it is just “sluts” – exactly what phrase of the Constitution reads “except sluts”? Sluts have rights too! Though frankly, I would like to see that word retired forever. It’s really not needed for anything other than shaming women.

    The interesting question that comes to my mind is: when you look at the percentages of American women who have taken contraception at some time in their life, it seems statistically probable that at least several of the men who say this are married to women who are taking, or have taken, birth control. Quite a few of the women saying such dismissive things…ditto. So, why did so many of these upstanding men marry sluts?

  9. Modusoperandi:

    d.c.wilson “Yeah, but snowboarding and football are manly activities that don’t involve those icky girly parts that we don’t understand.”
    To be fair, sex has a lot in common with football and snowboarding, like great splitting the uprights and running into trees.

     
    iknklast “The interesting question that comes to my mind is: when you look at the percentages of American women who have taken contraception at some time in their life, it seems statistically probable that at least several of the men who say this are married to women who are taking, or have taken, birth control. Quite a few of the women saying such dismissive things…ditto. So, why did so many of these upstanding men marry sluts?”
    My sex life is morally upstanding. Yours is slutty.

  10. dugglebogey:

    I hope more Republicans embrace the “everyone who uses or has ever used contraception is a slut” theme so that we can see the response of female voters.

  11. scienceavenger:

    …something that is largely for recreational behavior

    BZZZZT! The contraception is not for the behavior, but for the devastating consequences possible without it. It’s akin to a motorcycle helmet. And its for eliminating consequences, not avoiding them, big BIG difference.

  12. eric:

    “this administration is using the often coercive power of the federal government to force people into their way of being and their way of existing, their way of believing and thinking and acting.”

    I don’t see how paying for broad-based insurance forces anyone to believe, think, or act in any way. I’m sure part of my premiums goes to pay the health care costs of people who have lung cancer from decades of smoking. That doesn’t make me want to smoke, or make me think smoking is a good thing. Other parts of my premium probably go to pay for treatment for people who have done all sorts or risky behavior I wouldn’t do and been injured doing it. If someone recreationally hang glides, crashes, and gets treated under my health care plan, does that mean I have hang glided-by-proxy?

    The whole thing’s ridiculous.

    I have to go now. Gotta go buy a Harley and ride it around town. I just found out that Geico covers motorcycling, and you know, now I feel an unstoppable compulsion to ride.

  13. Marcus Ranum:

    It’s akin to a motorcycle helmet.

    Yes, because in states where people are required to wear helmets, motorcyclists are totally constantly vaulting off their bikes so they can slam headfirst into things.

  14. Larry:

    Does the GOP have any issues to solve besides stopping people they don’t even know from having sex?

  15. eric:

    To be fair, sex has a lot in common with football and snowboarding, like great splitting the uprights and running into trees.

    For a minute there I thought you were going to go with the classic: wide receivers and tight ends.

  16. marcus:

    Dear Republicans, Please, please continue to idiotic, inane, sexist, misogynistic, bigoted things about everybody you don’t like (essentially anyone that is not an old, white, straight, male, conservative). It is the gift that just keeps on giving. ;)

  17. marcus:

    …continue tosay.

  18. Reginald Selkirk:

    marcus #16: Dear Republicans, Please, please continue to idiotic…

    If only they were slightly more stupid, by which I mean too stupid to vote.

  19. cptdoom:

    BZZZZT! The contraception is not for the behavior, but for the devastating consequences possible without it. It’s akin to a motorcycle helmet. And its for eliminating consequences, not avoiding them, big BIG difference.

    The medications used for contraceptive purposes also are effective in treating many different “lady part” problems, including ovarian cysts and endometriosis, not to mention helping women who can’t risk pregnancy for one physical reason or another. But what do they matter.

  20. raven:

    I’m guessing he is not going to prevent men from buying Viagra.

    Well no. I hope you weren’t trying to be sarcastic because it didn’t work.

    Hobby Lobby still covers….viagra and vasectormies.

  21. Pen:

    The most stupid thing about the Republican position is that every time contraception is used, and regardless of who’s taking it/putting it on, two people are using it. You can’t reproduce by yourself. What about all these ‘sluts’ with penises who hang around acting like it’s nothing to do with them?

  22. raven:

    You can’t reproduce by yourself. What about all these ‘sluts’ with penises who hang around acting like it’s nothing to do with them?

    This ruling effects men almost as much as women.

    1. In all states, the biological father is responsible by law for..child support. That would be some significant fraction of the estimated $150,000 per child, 0 to 18.

    2. This is in theory. In practice, it happens sometimes, doesn’t happen a lot of the time.

    3. For young, single mothers, the state often picks up the cost.

    4. Which is why the states are huge fans of birth control. Every dollar spent on BC saves them $3 in welfare costs.

    5. Of course the fundies hate welfare for single mothers and dependent children. As much as they (supposedly) hate birth control. Which means in their dystopic New Xian America, there will be many unwanted kids and poor parents who can’t care for them. I suppose they will form roaming mobs and attack grocery stores for food and die of starvation and cold in the winter.

    Did you know xianity is the source of all morality? Yeah, no one has ever seen that yet.

  23. Modusoperandi:

    Pen “What about all these ‘sluts’ with penises who hang around acting like it’s nothing to do with them?”
    They’re protected under the Boys Will Be Boys Act of 1960.

  24. whheydt:

    Of course the questions for Sen. Lee should be:
    1. Are you married and for how long?
    2. How many children do you and your wife have?

  25. iangould:

    So a married couple who’ve been diagnosed as carriers of Tays-Sach disease or another genetic disorder should simply abstain?

  26. smrnda:

    First, there are lots of monogamous, married couples who use birth control. That alone should make the ‘sluts’ argument invalid, not that it should matter in the first place.

    Second, when it comes to recreation, you can do anything you can afford, and as far as I can tell insurance plans don’t typically get some kind of disclaimer that they won’t cover expenses related to *certain recreational activities.* If you want to skateboard, you can go ahead and a plan that would refuse to cover injuries related to skateboarding is absurd. Sex is the same deal – one has sex for free, and the medication is to avoid certain serious and often costly consequences. I do not want to live in a world where employers can decide that they won’t pay for medical expenses you get from activities they don’t like.

  27. Reginald Selkirk:

    Justices act in other health law mandate cases

    July 1, 2014 10:23 AM WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.

    Tuesday’s orders apply to companies owned by Catholics who oppose all contraception. … The justices also ordered lower courts that ruled in favor of the Obama administration to reconsider those decisions in light of Monday’s 5-4 decision.

    Five Roman Catholic justices exercise their ruling broadly on contraception, but explicitly remark that we cannot expect to see the ruling applied to taboos of other religions, including vaccinations and transfusions. This smells really bad.

  28. Reginald Selkirk:

    whheydt #24: Of course the questions for Sen. Lee should be:
    1. Are you married and for how long?
    2. How many children do you and your wife have?

    This is why Wikipedia was invented.
    1) Yes, since 1993.
    2) Three.

  29. carbonfox:

    But the low fertility rate of Senator Lee and his spouse is because of abstinence! They would never stoop to birth control!

  30. Wes Aaron:

    Wait your saying Utah Senator Mike Lee said something stupid. Well… Duh…

    First of all he’s from Utah (that should explain all his stupidity, but I don’t want to paint with a broad brush). I will cut a square out of the left-hand top corner.

    After pushing for the government shutdown he then tried to blame Democrats saying they didn’t care that the government was going to be shutdown. (And this idiot took his salary while government workers, vets, and others had to wait three weeks for theirs.)

    There is stupid and then there is Utah home grown stupid. This is a state in where they had to change the liquor laws or people visiting during the Olympics wouldn’t have been able to get a drink. A state that runs the liquor stores and best you can buy is weak quality beer (when the liquor store is closed) that can’t be sold between the hours of 1am to 7am. This state makes a killing on tobacco and alcohol tax. Here is the best, you can legally smoke at 18, but cannot buy tobacco products until 19. (And you thought the Mormon religion was only weird thing in Utah.)

  31. leni:

    I do not want to live in a world where employers can decide that they won’t pay for medical expenses you get from activities they don’t like.

    No kidding. There are so many creepy big brother-esque things the company I work for already does. 25% of the workforce is randomly selected for drug testing every month. When I started they did a preliminary health exam. Understandable for the most part, but for some reason decided they also needed to know my cholesterol levels. Really? Are they worried I’m going to sue because of the occasional office donuts?

    We are also required to put in reasons why we use items from the medicine cabinet on a log sheet. Which is in the breakroom and in full view of anyone. Which is everyone at some point. Really? You want me to announce to the entire plant that I took some ibuprofen for cramps? Or an anti-diarrheal med because I had some unexpected intestinal issues and didn’t want to run out the door “sick” at 10 am? What about the poor bastard with the hemorrhoid flare up (not me!)? Ugh. It’s just so creepy and disrespectful and intrusive.

    Then they sent out a “third party” health questionnaire that had what I considered to be totally out of line questions. The first one on the list for women was “are you now or planning to be pregnant in the near future”. The company apparently doesn’t see this information, which is bullshit because there is no way in hell they aren’t using keyloggers, image recording and who knows what else. (Oh I know they do. This is a huge company and is often the target of hacking and corporate espionage attempts. We are definitely heavily monitored.) If they wanted to see how we answered those, they could easily have done so.

    It totally crossed the line. I don’t care if it’s to help me get a handle on my health. It was creepy. And it was mandatory. And because it came in a work email of course people are going to fill it out at work. We were told to, and the production crew (who have no personal computers) were pretty much required to. I just lied about everything anyway. I eat 4 servings of vegetables and whole grains a day, a little bit too much cheese, won’t get pregnant, don’t drink, don’t smoke, have never used illegal drugs in my life and don’t speed. (Yes. It asked if you were a speeder.)

    And don’t even get me started on the “Health Savings Account” credit cards. How reassuring that there is a 3rd party now directly involved in all my medical expenses. God I wish we could just have a single payer system and be done with all this bullshit.

  32. Modusoperandi:

    leni, but that shows how much your company cares about you!*

     
    * “Here at BigCo, we care so much about our employees that we have life insurance policies on each and every one of them. BigCo: Our highest fiduciary duty is love.”

  33. Moon Jaguar:

    Whoa, whoa, waaait a minute. This isn’t about Republicans punishing women for recreational sex! It’s about a corporation rescuing the magical souls in blastocysts. After birth it’s a magically cursed sinner and the corporation is off the hook.

    See? Makes total sense.

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