Sex is not a recreational activity. Tennis is a recreational activity. Sex is a natural human urge and a normal part of everyday life. In all the coverage of Rush Limbaugh’s misogynist rant, the key point no one seems to be bringing up is that sex is not a sinful thing bad girls do. Sex is something almost everyone does a lot of through the course of a lifetime. Tennis is not.
Experts and people with common sense have jumped to correct Rush Limbaugh’s inaccurate statements and deplore his vicious attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. But what concerns me is that men and women are not standing up against his assertion that “sex is not a right” and that sex is an optional “recreational activity.” Why do religious or conservative pundits get to decide that sex is not an option every person, regardless of their ability to pay for birth control, should have?
Why are we not challenging public discourse about the supposed dangers of “consequence-free” sex? People should be responsible (FYI – covering birth control helps them do that) but no one “deserves” to get an infection or have an unwanted pregnancy as a result of a normal, everyday activity that has been going on…forever. Sex is an important component to relationships and personal well-being. It’s a part of being human. The focus should be on getting people the knowledge and resources they need to have sex safely, not trying to force one group’s version of morality on people who don’t have the money to get around punitive hurdles.
Women don’t and shouldn’t spend their whole lives being preoccupied with preventing pregnancy. No one should pick their college or their employer with birth control coverage as their main criteria. The idea that women’s fertility should rule their lives is insulting: we do more things than just have (or try not to have) babies. By forcing women to choose between career opportunities and receiving comprehensive healthcare, we are allowing discrimination by allowing employers to offer comprehensive healthcare to men but not women.
I don’t think anyone should be forced to choose abstinence from sex out of fear of an unexpected pregnancy. I don’t think men should be forced to choose abstinence because employers don’t want to cover Viagra. In 2012, do Americans really believe that people shouldn’t use healthcare resources to have sex safely – or is that just Limbaugh?